Indonesian tin producer PT Timah posted a net profit of 341.5 billion rupiah ($28.2 million) in the nine months ended September 30, calling 2014 “the year of Indonesian tin resurrection”.

This marks a rise of 141% from 141.5 billion rupiah in the prior-year period, on revenues of 4.36 trillion rupiah for the first three quarters of 2014. Revenues in the first three quarters of 2013 stood at 3.61 trillion rupiah.

The increase was assisted by a higher average selling price for tin both in the three-month period and the nine-month period.

The average selling price in the third quarter stood at $21,849 per tonne, up from $21,318 per tonne in the same period in 2013, and at $22,668 per tonne in the nine-month period, up from $22,455.

The company cited the fact that regulators in Indonesia are “more active and aware” of tin’s strategic importance, and welcomed plans from the ministry of energy and mineral resources to restrict tin production to about 45,000 tonnes in 2015.

The Indonesian government is also considering a limit on tin exports, according to various news reports in October.

PT Timah added, however, that a strengthening dollar in the USA has hit commodity prices more recently and that the market continues to face “a very tough challenge”.

The price of tin with a lead content of 50 ppm was $20,245 per tonne on the Indonesia Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (ICDX) on Monday November 3. Tin prices on the London Metal Exchange have been below $20,000 per tonne in recent days.

“The weakening tin price in the market positively correlates with [the] fluctuation of [PT Timah’s] share price on the [Indonesian Stock Exchange],” the company said.

“However, our directors remain optimistic that the weakening is only temporary, and eventually tin commodity prices will skyrocket along with the applied restriction on tin export quota.”

It added, furthermore, that it will be “selective” in selling its products into the market as part of a bid to “maintain price stability”.

Tin-in-concentrate production in the nine-month period was up 32.47% year-on-year, meanwhile, at 22,870 tonnes, marking increases in both offshore and onshore production.

Offshore production continued to dominate, at 15,842 tonnes in the first three quarters of 2014, up from 14,536 tonnes in the prior-year period, compared with 7,028 tonnes of onshore production, up from 2,729 tonnes.

Refined tin production was up 15.6% year-on-year in the nine months ended September 30, at 18,601 tonnes, and sales of refined tin were up 2.87% year-on-year to 15,664 tonnes.

The company has said it will continue to pursue efficiency "in all areas" , including reducing its use of fuel and energy by switching from diesel to gas. 

Construction of its rare earth pilot project is under way and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2015.

See also:
PT Timah supports Indonesian government's plans to limit tin production

Claire Hack 
chack@metalbulletin.com
Twitter: @clairehack_mb